Chip Kelly was not the first rookie head coach plucked from NCAA Division I, uh, FBS ranks with tons of hype and no NFL experience.
Labeled a "genius" with a futuristic offensive system, Kelly was slated to head the movement that would revolutionize professional football. But something happened along the way, and he was relieved of his duties. Now he has a new existence in the NFL realm after the love has gone.
Kelly's failures as a head coach are greatly exaggerated. While posting a record of 26-21 in the regular season and losing the only playoff game his Eagles played in is not an exemplary résumé, there have been worse debuts.
He didn't start like Jim Harbaugh, but he also had a better tenure than Nick Saban. For someone with lofty expectations, both externally and internally, Kelly's middling time in Philadelphia feels like a letdown, even as grander flops precede him. But how did we go from care to indifference so quickly?
General Manager Chip Kelly took all the luster Head Coach Chip Kelly had and tarnished it with more-than-questionable roster moves. Putting the Riley Cooper incident aside, trading the sport's most elusive running back and one of its most explosive deep threats when said futuristic offensive system prides itself on speed and big plays is at best skeptical and at worst idiotic.
Chip Kelly is really smart, and he knows it. The flaw that can undermine this is when his ego fuels his intelligence. This unchecked narcissism leads to the belief that he is the main source of his team's success. In reality, the formula will always require good players to win.
It takes a certain level of arrogance to be really good at anything, and this is definitely not a call to humble Chip Kelly. But adaptation is as much a sign of intelligence as general skill. Kelly certainly believes he will survive and excel as an NFL head coach, but his pride in his abilities kept him from any exalted success. Smart coaches with limited talent hover near the .500 line, hoping Jordan Matthews and Ryan Mathews grow to be as impactful as LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson.
He has a new team now. But there is no glitter around his name. There aren't any billboards plastered in anticipation along the expressway. Chip Kelly is just another coach with a second chance to be successful someplace else.
Maybe he restores the shine to his name. Maybe he won't. But at this moment, Kelly is an afterthought who has to create an even better sales pitch than before to make us pay attention again.
Poemer. 8-time Hug Champion. Pick&Roll Enthusiast. Guardian of Logic and Tact. Apocalypse's good Brother. Collector of muted souls for Mt. Filtermanjaro.